‘Justin always destined for big things’

  • Justin Donawa stands near the spot where he had his winning leap in the triple jump at the 2012 Carifta Games. The footballer has been drafted by the Columbus Crew of the MLS. Also pictured are father Jay and brother Jace, a promising runner with the Bermuda Pacers where Justin got his start

(Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

    Justin Donawa stands near the spot where he had his winning leap in the triple jump at the 2012 Carifta Games. The footballer has been drafted by the Columbus Crew of the MLS. Also pictured are father Jay and brother Jace, a promising runner with the Bermuda Pacers where Justin got his start (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

  • Football over track: the long jump is behind Justin Donawa now as he prepares to pursue a career as a professional footballer after behind drafted by MLS team Columbus Crew

(Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

    Football over track: the long jump is behind Justin Donawa now as he prepares to pursue a career as a professional footballer after behind drafted by MLS team Columbus Crew (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)


Proud mother Keena Donawa is already thinking about a trip to Ohio, in anticipation that son Justin will be offered a contract by Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew.

Donawa, a Bermuda midfielder, was drafted by the Crew this week in the SuperDraft and will join the team for pre-season training later this month. His mother cannot contain her excitement as the 22-year-old gets set to embark on a professional career.

“He actually gets a lot of his footballing talent from his grandfather, my father Delwyn Trott, who was an original member of the Devonshire Colts way back in the Howard Academy days under [principal] Edward De Jean,” Keena said.

“He was a part of that very first Colts squad, so football has always been a big part of our family. Apparently he was a prolific striker from what people have told me; he was very fast and he had a mean shot. My dad is tickled pink over this whole thing.”

Keena was an athlete herself in high school when she was a sprinter and jumper. Her son went on to become one of the top triple jumpers a decade ago, winning a bronze and then gold medal in successive years at the Carifta Games in 2011 and 2012.

Father Jay was a top middle-distance runner, winning the Bermuda Day Marathon Derby a few years ago, while his own father, Albert, was a top cricketer for Somerset, a sport Justin also excelled for the same club.

“It was a toss-up, obviously between football and athletics but we just let him continue the sports that he loved and never pressured him to make a choice,” Keena said. “We knew at some point he would make that decision for himself, but I always knew that football was his passion from young.

“From a mother’s standpoint I just stood back and allowed him to grow as an individual and athlete, never pressuring him. I always tell him to play hard but play fair, and most of all have fun.

“My family have pretty much been athletes, my brothers Mark and Roger Trott and even my sisters all did track in high school. He’s got a bit of everything in him and was destined to do something. Jay and I always encouraged him to get his education because athletics can sometimes come to a halt abruptly. We just wanted to make sure he had a good foundation education wise, and he knew that as well.”

Keena is keeping her schedule open in the hopes she can get to see him play for the Crew sometime soon. “Most definitely, fingers crossed everything goes well as he hasn’t signed as yet,” she said.

“I will be there without question. I’ve been online, looked up the city and the stadium. I’m very proud of him. If things don’t work out he will still have options.”

Columbus Crew open their season with a home game against New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 2.

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Published Jan 18, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 18, 2019 at 10:47 pm)

‘Justin always destined for big things’

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